First of 80 planned farm academies now open

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture and American firm Corteva Agriscience inaugurated the first of 80 planned rice and corn educational farms to be put up in the Philippines.

The rice farm academies are intended to help farmers boost productivity and profitability.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Corteva Agriscience recently opened Nueva Ecija Rice EduFarm in Barangay Homestead in Talavera in Nueva Ecija.

Under the agreement signed in October 2019, the farm academies will cover 40 municipalities with a total of 50,000 hectares for rice and corn production.

The Edufarms are expected to ensure that farmers adopt better agricultural practices and contribute to food security.

“Hybrid rice technologies form part of our national rice production program. In fact, both hybrid rice commercialization and seed production systems have undoubtedly contributed in our efforts to secure the nation’s food requirements and the creation of new jobs in our rural areas,” Dar said.

Under the Rice Tariffication law, the DA is promoting the use of high-quality seeds, among other good practices, to modernize and develop the local rice industry.

For his part, Corteva Agriscience country lead Arun Mittal said the EduFarms aim to raise crop productivity and improve farmer income.

“By planting high-yielding hybrid rice varieties and applying the corresponding crop protection treatments, farmers can lower costs, spend less time laboring in the field and improve productivity,” Mittal said.

The project will continue to build training centers and provide farmer leaders with season-long field and in-classroom training.

Topics covered range from land and seed preparation, all the way to marketing and financial management. New seed preparation and crop protection technologies will also be shared.

The project will train 25,000 farmers which will generate additional food supply for 400,000 Filipinos and achieve additional production of 50,000 MT of rice.

The project will benefit 40 municipalities in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Zamboanga del Sur, Pampanga, Lanao del Norte, Bataan, Kalinga, Tarlac, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Vizcaya, Laguna, Zambales, Quirino, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Surigao de Sur, Bohol, and Occidental Mindoro.


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